With two assists and one goal, Lionel Messi helped Argentina’s national football team reach the semi-finals of the Copa América. The Argentines beat Ecuador 3-0. This is not a duel with his good friend Luis Suárez. The next opponent is Colombia, who beat Uruguay on penalties.
Messi, whose future at FC Barcelona is uncertain now that his contract has expired, prepared goals from Rodrigo De Paul shortly before half-time and Lautaro Martínez. This second goal came in the 84th minute and effectively decided the game. Messi scored from a free kick in overtime. Shortly before, Ecuadorian defender Piero Hincapié had received a red card.
Messi has yet to make the Copa America on his record. He lost three times to Argentina in the final: in Venezuela 2007, Chile in 2015 and the United States in 2016.
Argentina will face Colombia in Brasilia on Tuesday for a place in the final. In the Brazilian capital, the match between the Colombians and Uruguay ended in a 0-0. Colombia were the best on penalties, 4-2.
Brazil and Peru will face off in the other semi-final.